September 29, 2017

Staten Island Faculty and Staff Cap Student Welcome Week with Mentor/Mentee Dinner

Ira Taub, Ruth Losack (mentor), Jenny Mincin (mentor, standing), Marie Wausnock (sitting), Gennaro Bonfiglio (mentor, standing), Jennifer Taub (sitting), Gina Torino (mentor, standing) and Lisa Nuzzi, (sitting)

Left to right are: Ira Taub, Ruth Losack (mentor), Jenny Mincin (mentor, standing), Marie Wausnock (sitting), Gennaro Bonfiglio (mentor, standing), Jennifer Taub (sitting), Gina Torino (mentor, standing) and Lisa Nuzzi, (sitting).

Faculty and staff at SUNY Empire State College’s Staten Island location, 500 Seaview Ave, one of SUNY Empire’s three locations in New York City, hold a “Welcome Week” for students before the start of each term.

Welcome week consists of a series of events, including sessions on tips, tricks and traps to avoid on the path to academic success, student club meetings, a workshop on Moodle, the college's online learning management system and a reception followed by the mentor/mentee dinner.

The dinner is the final event of the week, where students and their mentors gather for food, drink and conversation.

Faculty at SUNY Empire hold traditional academic titles and ranks, such as lecturer, adjunct, assistant professor, associate professor and full professor. The college’s faculty also have responsibilities that are broader and more extensive than advising traditional-age students at a conventional college or university.

Instead of using a traditional academic rank for a title, such as professor, SUNY Empire uses the more descriptive term “mentor.”

“Nontraditional students are often in need of guidance and support, because they might have tried traditional colleges and were not successful,” said Mentor Ruth Losack. “Having a mentor will allow them to become successful.”

“I think it is very nice because the mentor actually cares,” said student Jennifer Taub. “They make sure you get back on track when you get off track.”

The college assigns each undergraduate student a mentor from among the faculty, who guides the student, from enrollment to degree completion, throughout his or her academic journey.

Each undergraduate student first works with his or her mentor in a credit-bearing course to design an individual degree plan within 12 broad areas of study.

Mentors and their students, together with other members of the college community at Staten Island, also go bowling at least once every year.

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